The Dodgers have won every game since June 22 that Chris Capuano hasn’t started. Unfortunately for them, it was Capuano (2-6) on the mound for their series finale against the Rockies on Thursday.
He lasted just 4 1/3 innings, allowing six runs (five earned) and seven hits as the Dodgers recorded just their second loss in their last 12 games, falling 9-5 at Coors Field in Colorado.
Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez drove in runs in the sixth inning to pull the Dodgers within four, but that was as close as they would get. Hanley Ramirez struck out swinging to strand Gonzalez at second. Tim Federowicz missed a solo homer run by just a few feet an inning later and Gonzalez’s solo bomb in the ninth proved too little, too late.
In total, the Dodgers stranded 11 runners, nine in scoring position and at least one every inning excluding the seventh. Aside from Gonzalez, who went 4 for 5 to lift his average back above .300, the lineup was unable to cash in on enough opportunities to make up for Capuano’s early struggles.
Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin (8-3) worked through trouble, going 5 2/3 innings. He gave up four runs on nine hits while striking out four and walking three -- certainly not his best outing, but far better than Capuano.
It’s now twice in the last 2 1/2 weeks that Capuano has allowed at least six runs and seven hits while failing to retire more than 13 batters. He gave up seven runs (five earned) and 10 hits over 3 1/3 innings in a 16-1 loss to the Phillies on June 28.
Capuano served up two doubles in his first five pitches as Carlos Gonzalez knocked home DJ LeMahieu to give the Rockies a first-inning lead.
After a two-run homer from Matt Kemp, his second longball in as many days, Capuano had a chance to extend his team’s 2-1 lead with runners on first and second in the second inning. But his bunt attempt dropped right in front of Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario, who forced Tim Federowicz out at third, and the Dodgers failed to score again in the frame.
A Josh Rutledge single and Michael Cuddyer double pushed the Rockies ahead 4-2 before Rosario capped off a four-run third inning with a sacrifice fly.
Rutledge then chased Capuano with a leadoff double in the fifth inning. Troubled reliever Brandon League came on to walk Cuddyer and allow back-to-back RBI singles to Rosario and Todd Helton.
By the time J.P. Howell retired Chacin to end the inning, Colorado had broken open the game at 8-2.
Following the Dodgers’ two-run sixth, Federowicz nearly cut the deficit to three runs, hooking Edgmer Escalona’s hanging slider just left of the left-field foul pole with two outs in the seventh. He struck out swinging on the next pitch and walked back to the dugout staring at his bat.
Cuddyer finished off the Rockies scoring with a solo homer to right in the eighth before Gonzalez answered with an opposite-field bomb to lead off the ninth. Ramirez lined a single to right field to extend his 15-game hitting streak, but Andre Ethier, Kemp and Federowicz’s fly balls fell short of the fences to end the game.
The Dodgers have won 10 of 12 heading into a three-game series with the San Francisco Giants. They sit just 3 1/2 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West standings and will face them in the last leg of this nine-game road trip.